Swifts travelled to Buchan looking to get back to winning ways after a run of losses before the summer break. The road trip back to Perth proved to be an enjoyable one as they had secured the points after an excellent overall display from the whole squad.
The opening exchanges were even as both teams played positively, but it Buchan who took the lead when the striker took advantage of hesitancy between Cochran and the defence to round the keeper and side foot home despite the efforts of Todd.
Swifts bounced back and the home keeper produced an excellent save to turn a vicious McGinley strike over the bar. Play moved swiftly to the other end and Cochran came to the Swifts rescue turning one shot over the bar with an instinctive reaction save and then parried brilliantly after the striker had broken clear for a one v one.
The home side were playing direct and looking to add to their lead but Irvine and Todd were defending the flanks well and Martin and Flynn-Scott competing bravely against the pacey front two.
As the first half progressed Maclean was starting to influence matters with her passing and Thatcher and McDonald starting to gain a foothold in midfield. It was McDonald who inspired the equaliser on the half hour mark when she chased down a ball that looked like it was a lost cause, won possession and cut the ball back into the box. As the ball rolled across the area, young Cowie rolled her marker, swivelled and cracked a great shot home.
The home keeper saved well from McGinley and just before the interval Swifts got a decisive second. McGinley won possession in midfield, fed McIntyre who played an enticing ball to Cowie. As Cowie was thwarted the ball ran loose and McIntyre challenged bravely and was rewarded when the ball ricocheted off her foot and over the keeper.
HT Buchan 1 Jeanfield Swifts 2
It had been an entertaining first half with both teams having strong spells and chances, with Swifts just ahead due to the determination of their players to put their bodies on the line to convert chances.
The second half proved a more one-sided affair with the Swifts keeping possession well and dictating matters. Shortly after the break they extended their lead after an excellent build up of passing starting with Irvine and involving Maclean, McDonald, McGinley and McIntyre with the ball reaching Thatcher who played a ball in behind the defence.
As the keeper and defender hesitated Cowie showed great bravery and excellent composure to force herself in between and place a strike home on the stretch. It was a great piece of improvisation from the Swifts youngster who at the age of 15 has been holding her own at SWPL2 level for the past few months since her promotion to the Ladies squad.
The youngster took an well deserved round of applause when replaced by Fox who herself made an immediate impact. McGinley chased a ball to the byeline and her determination got her to the ball and she delivered a cut back which Fox controlled despite great pressure, and laid the ball back to her striking partner McIntyre who struck a lovely first-time volley home.
The Swifts afternoon was boosted even further when Foote was introduced ending her absence following a torn ACL and the introduction of the popular full-back seemed to spur the Swifts to look for further goals. Fleming and Strachan were also introduced as was Leiper and as a result of the introduction of quality players, the Swifts intensity was maintained. They almost got a fifth when Fox turned neatly and sent an excellent diagonal for McGinley who tore through the defence only to see her shot just miss the back post.
FT Buchan 1 Jeanfield Swifts 4
An excellent away victory with the Swifts recovering from an early setback to ultimately control proceedings through an excellent second half performance over opponents who gained the early initiative but lacked a cutting edge when their chances were created.
Jason McCrindle had worked hard over the break with some of the younger players at the club and this had paid off as he had a very talented full squad to call upon today with an excellent mixture of experience and youth. He was understandably delighted “!”It is always a tough place to go and get a result because of how Buchan play and how physical they can be but our girls stood up to their physicality and I thought we were stronger than them all over the park. We had to find a balance in the team and I thought the partnerships that developed on the park was crucial in our win today. I can’t single any player out as 16 of them all played their part today. We have been working so hard during this break and today was reward for the efforts of everyone involved at the club”.
Reported by Steve Grossi
Picture: Jeanfield Swifts